Latest News: Smart Motorway Sheet Piling Project

November 20th, 2017

Smart Motorway Sheet Piling Project

In July 2015, in a bid to relieve congestion on the UK’s motorway and trunk road network, Highways England set out their plans tackle the problem. Their grand £1.5 billion scheme features an ambitious plan to add over 4,000 miles of extra capacity by converting large sections of the existing motorway network to new ‘Smart Motorways‘.

Smart Motorways help to relieve congestion by making the hard shoulder available to the normal traffic flow during peak times. Certain sections of Smart Motorways utilise the hard shoulder at all times which is known as ‘All Lane Running’. Along these Smart sections, refuge areas, which can be used by stricken motorists and the emergency and recovery services, are regularly placed to the side of the carriageway.

Traffic levels on the Smart Motorways are constantly monitored, using state-of-the-art technology, to ensure a smooth flow of vehicles. Additionally, variable speed limits help to reduce stop-start driving and have been shown to improve journey times overall. When road users experience breakdowns, smart electronic road signs allow for lane closures and can warn other drivers of hazards and slowing traffic ahead.

For the section of the M1 Smart Motorway from Junction 16-19, Jacobs and Atkins (JA JV) were selected as the design team for the project with Costain and GallifordTry Joint Venture (CGT JV) undertaking the construction work. Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd were approached by the CGT JV in March 2016 to provide technical, cost and programme assistance to this ambitious scheme.

Permanent Steel Sheet Pile Retaining Wall
Permanent Sheet Pile Retaining Wall Installation at Night


Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd are set to install approximately 1400Te of Arcelor Mittal ‘Z’ section sheet piles to create a series of traditional sheet pile retaining walls as well as a number of ‘King Sheet Pile’ walls. The piling work will employ Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd’s extensive fleet of specialist sheet piling equipment including ABI and Bauer RTG Telescopic Leader Rigs, plus the latest Sennebogen Telescopic Crawler Cranes. The Arcelor Mittal ‘Z’ section sheet piles will be installed using a brand new double jaw clamp arrangement which will provide approximately 30% more energy being transferred into the driven pile. This new double jaw clamp also offers a significant noise reduction during the extensive sheet pile installation operations.

Commenting on the project, Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd managing director Andrew Cotton said: “This flagship Highways England project will ultimately offer huge economic benefits to the country as a whole and we’re delighted to be an integral part of the £1.5 billion nationwide scheme. Our team are utilising the very latest in smart sheet pile driving technology to ensure the project is completed on time in December 2017.”

You can read more about this M1 Junction 16-19 Smart Motorway project in our Case Study section.

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Sheet Piling (UK) Limited is one of the UK's leading piling contractors. Owning and operating a comprehensive range of specialist piling equipment Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd also carry extensive stocks of new and used piles enabling rapid reaction to any urgent requirements or emergency situations.